Wednesday 2 January 2013

My 2012 Top Ten

Last week I published the ten blog articles that scored most hits over the last 18 months. That was "your" top ten. I thought I'd offer an alternative top ten by listing the articles that I most enjoyed writing or which I personally thought were of the greatest significance. Pure indulgence; please forgive me!

In no particular order...
  • NOTE: Explaining Precision, 2-Apr-2012. The subject of numeric precision crops up from time-to-time, so I was pleased to discover an additional source on the topic
  • NOTE: Programming for Job Security (Golden Oldies), 10-Jan-2012. This was part of a Christmas series of "golden oldies" where I highlighted conferences papers from years past. This particular article highlighted a tongue-in-check, apply-the-reverse set of guidelines for making your SAS code unreadable for other coders. There's not much humour in SAS documentation and papers; the highlighted paper is a memorable exception
  • NOTE: When WORK is not WORK, 11-Aug-2012. Explaining the USER option and its effect on the WORK library
  • NOTE: More on Ishikawa, 12-Nov-2012. Ishikawa diagrams are an excellent means of investigating complex problems. I wrote an article on their use, and Chris Brooks subsequently pointed-out to me that SAS can draw such diagrams with PROC ISHIKAWA. Read the original article to get the skinny on Ishikawa diagrams
  • Mutation Testing, 17-Oct-2012. I'm always keen to find new ideas. Mutation testing was a new concept for me, but I think it has some merits. Read the article and judge for yourself
  • Code Kata #1, 18-Jan-2012. Having introduced the idea of coding challenges ("katas") as a coders' equivalent of a work-out, I offered a specific example/challenge. I got quite a lot of feedback on this, so I'll aim to produce some more in 2013
  • Whatever You Call It, It's About People First, 18-Sep-2012. People, Processes and Technology. In that order. That's the order of importance: no project or strategy can focus on technology alone
  • Technical Debt, 23-Oct-2012. A very useful concept for capturing your tactical short-cuts
  • NOTE: Prompts, Beyond the Basics With Enterprise Guide, 25-Sep-2012. There's so much you can do in Enterprise Guide beyond the creation of process flows and editing of programs. Prompts are just one of the valuable features of Enterprise Guide that I featured in this series
  • Requirements. Whose Responsibility? 30-Apr-2012. I'm a keen believer in cooperation and team work. In this article I spent some time discussing requirements capture; whether it should be done by users or by IT
2012 was a great year, with The Queen's Diamond Jubilee swiftly followed by the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Can 2013 match it? Let's hope so...

One of the highlights of 2013 will be Bloodhound SSC's attempt to become the first vehicle to exceed 1,000 mph on land. The car weighs over 7 tonnes, but the engines (one rocket and one jet) produce more than 135,000 horsepower. With key team members from the Thrust SSC project that broke the speed of sound and holds the current record of 763 mph, this project stands every chance of success. Good luck!